Friday, March 30, 2012

Textile Friday: Where We Source Our Supplies

                                “A price is something you get. A cost is something you lose.” ~ An old designer quote on the value of outsourcing vs. in-house training

         Many people don't realize that here at Li Sashay, we strive to source everything as being manufactured for our apparel and textile goods within a 2 1/2 hr. drive. Little, if anything we make has parts that come from far away. Forget China, most of our thread, fabric, and buttons are produced locally here at mills in the Piedmont and Mountains of our beloved North Carolina. It helps of course that North Carolina is a textile state. At the time of writing, we are around 95% supplies from North Carolina, the major exception is I have yet to find a place in the Piedmont that produces silk and I have a designer I do work with that loves silk. No system is perfect. Much of my buy local drive comes from the food movement, not textiles.
         However, it has a distinct advantage in that I actually feel as if I know what I'm giving my customers. Every system is imperfect so this knowledge is tempered with a reality we live in the real world. Otherwise, I'd never sew with silk. I've toured the plants, chatted with sales guys, kicked the tires so to speak on the drums, spinnets, and a million little things. It means a host of  details our customers rarely stop to consider. The threads last longer, I can get parts shipped in 2 days from the sewing machine factory near Charlotte, and any textiles are unlikely to fall apart in a season. A thousand little things that say quality to me. It's not to say the system is perfect, but it let's me sleep at night knowing I'm not supporting child-labor or unfair wages. The garments that are made entirely in this state will have a "Made in North Carolina" label on them to distinguish everything from the hardware to thread being made here in our state. And now, I hope to share my peace of mind with you. And to any new designers getting started, North Carolina is a great state to manufacture in. Have a great weekend.

       See ya on Monday.

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